“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.” — Rosa Luxemburg
I don’t care about social media — not the tools, the rhetoric or the banal commentary about the accretion of likes, friends or some grand, earth-shattering marketing scheme. That said, I do care (deeply) about the inflexion point when we perceive social media as a way to discover our true self — not the faux, mediocre version we’ve built up over many years, but the unconscious Self.
For me, social media was (and is) no more than an aperture to my true Self — firstly through the creative process but more latterly a life of contemplation.
In case you’ve not worked it out, social media involves a process of unlearning. More particularly, a process of stripping away much of what we thought would command our attention over the course of our life. You might think this paradoxical, particularly when so many people who pray on people in the social media space laud the ability to use the tools to lift us out of a life of mediocrity; but of course what’s missing is the journey within — a process of radical self-inquiry.
If you’re able, just for one moment, set aside what you think you know about social media, and change the narrative from marketing speak to self-enquiry speak. This doesn’t mean reading a slew of new-age books but instead getting closer to nature, living simply and being present in the moment. If you do, you’ll find that social media doesn’t even appear on the horizon.
I recognise this appears a volte face my previous infected, social-media-self but trust me it’s nothing of the sort. No, it’s simply an acknowledgement that to discover my true self it won’t come through the aperture of the frenetic and ego-centric world of social media. It will only come through the process of self-inquiry, contemplation and an acknowledgement and acceptance of our deep interconnectedness. Or to put it much more vividly, “In order to become myself I must cease to be what I always thought I wanted to be, and in order to find myself I must go out of myself, and in order to live I have to die” (see New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton, p.47).